Ask a Gallery Owner | Should Artists Seek an Agent to Represent Them?

I not long ago gained the pursuing e-mail inquiring about artists’ agents:

Dear Jason,

I have joined a discussion line on LinkedIn and we are talking about the professionals and negatives of selecting artwork agents to depict our function to galleries, and so forth. It appears as nevertheless there are quite a few people today out there who are glad to just take edge of battling artists and are asking for up entrance expenses without having giving any supporting facts re what they will do to marketplace our function. I have published a prolonged assertion about what I would be expecting from an agent Before I would indicator up with an individual.

Fundamentally, I be expecting a program of action or a prospectus relating to the provider — a great deal like we get from true estate agents who we are interviewing for marketing our properties. Nicely, this has led to inquiries about wherever do we uncover brokers and how can we display screen them. My considered was we may possibly try carrying out a Google search or check with some gallery owners for enter.

*And this sales opportunities me to my dilemma of you.* What are your ideas about art brokers? Do you, as a gallery owner who is quite supportive of artists and pretty qualified in the organization conclusion of the art business enterprise, want to have an agent existing the artist’s perform or have the artist him/herself do the preliminary presentation (I know your anticipations and tips for in search of gallery illustration)? What should really we (artists) hope from an agent? Do you have any suggestions about the place we can obtain a list of credible agents? What are your recommendations for retainer fees and service fees for service?

M

My reaction:

M,

Thank you for the be aware and the problem. I realize why performing with a very good agent would be pleasing to an artist – the idea of getting a person else get more than the small business aspect of issues sounds almost much too great to be legitimate. Regrettably, for most artists it is just that, too very good to be accurate. This is specially true for artists early in their careers. Nicely-founded and experienced brokers want to do the job with artists who already have a track-document. For an rising artists it is heading to choose much more work to uncover a very good agent and convince them to perform with you than it would to get out and develop relationships with galleries. That becoming the situation, I would endorse an artist commit their initiatives to securing gallery illustration.

From a gallery-owner’s standpoint, I have definitely worked with brokers over the a long time and it can undoubtedly totally free an artist up to emphasis on their resourceful attempts. Truth advised however, I would like to do the job immediately with the artist in most instances. I am a lot more most likely to provide an artist’s function effectively if I have a fantastic operating romance directly with the artist.

If you are heading to perform with an agent, you would want to chat to other artists they signify and get a sense of how effective they’ve been in advertising and marketing the artists’ do the job and how proactive they are. I would hesitate to shell out also a lot in up-front expenses – as a gallery I do not make any dollars from an artist unless I am selling their function – it shouldn’t be any diverse for an agent. Spend centered on efficiency.

Share Your Encounter

Have you labored or do you at this time work with an agent? What has your knowledge been and what would you advocate when an artist is trying to get agent illustration? Share your feelings in the comments beneath.